Blood group may determine infection

PATIENTS’ blood group may dictate whether they become infected by some strains of a gastric virus, research suggests.

A sugar molecule linked to type A blood helps the rotavirus strain invade cells in the gastrointestinal tract, a study has shown.

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The virus is the leading cause of severe dehydration and diarrhoea in infants, and causes an estimated 500,000 deaths worldwide each year.

It is known that specific blood group molecules promote infection by the novovirus the stomach bug Helicobacter pylori.